Monday, May 16, 2005


Drifting in Edmonchuck

It is always amazing to read the antics of Ralph Klein. The Premier is apparently too disinterested in his own job to show up for work, but has, as always, an opinion on the current federal political scene.

The premier's office announced late Friday afternoon he would be off Monday through Thursday on "personal time" and offered no other explanation. This plan would see Klein not attend the last week of the spring session of the legislature. There is, however, a special session next week for the welcoming of Queen Elizabeth II so all is not lost.

Recently, there have been questions about Klein's health. He missed the recent western premiers conference and his government's international health symposium (a pet project of his) because of a respiratory ailment and later said he has quit smoking. But his press secretary Marisa Etmanski said his latest absence doesn't have anything to do with health. Apparently, he doesn't need a reason for not showing up to work like the rest of us stiffs.

Also, there have been recent reports of internal divisions in the Klein cabinet with public feuding over the handling of the senior's file and continually jockeying in the lead up to a certain leadership race.

Ralph needs to hand in his letter of resignation and let someone else lead the province. Alberta is wasting a great opportunity to chart a course for the next decade or two with a visionless, uninspired leader. The province will only be able to coast on high-energy prices for so long and shouldn't continue to throw money at perceived problems without expecting results. In fact, the province should take a page from the optimism being espoused next door in BC.

Gordon Campbell (who isn't a saint) has proposed a plan to make the next ten years a golden decade in the province. This plan includes 5 goals - produce more jobs per capita than any of province, to become the best educated, most literate jurisdiction in North America, to lead the world in environmental management, to build the best supports in Canada for seniors, the disabled and children at risk, and to lead the way in North American health and fitness. These are exciting times for British Columbians as they build a better society.

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